In less than three weeks, I will be boarding a plane for my very first overseas trip!
Most of you who have been following a while already know about my trip, but some of my new readers might have missed it.
Over spring break, the hubby and I and our three teenagers are flying to Amsterdam and will have about 2 1/2 days there. Then we are taking the train to Paris and will have about 3 1/2 days there.
I’m not gonna lie, while I’m extremely excited, I’m also very nervous. I like my little comfort zone. I drive the same square around town… gym…grocery store…. middle school….high school…home. But this was the year to continue to press outside of my comfort zone. And what better way than to fly across the world! 🙂
We’ve done quite a bit of traveling around the East Coast of the United States, but always wanted to take the kids to Europe before the oldest left for college. He’s now 17 and a junior in high school so we figured it was time. The kids have not been on a plane since they ranged from ages 2-6. I have never been outside of the continental U.S. and figured it was about time for me to travel too!
I have saved and read through many “must sees” and itineraries on my Pinterest account, but I wanted to get my reader’s opinions on what you all think should be on my list.
Keukenhof Gardens has been a regular recommendation. I definitely want to see fields of tulip blooms since we will be there in April.
For those that have visited the gardens, do you think this would hold the interest of 13,15, and 17 year-olds? Any opinions on Zaanse Schanse?
I understand that our time is limited and I don’t want to try to pack to much in. We will be staying near Vondelpark and I know that the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum are nearby. I really wanted to take the kids to the Anne Franke house, but when I checked for tickets 3 weeks ahead, they are sold out. Given our short time there, if the line has a multiple hour wait, this won’t be an option.
Of course Paris is also filled with more than we can fit into our time as well. We are considering a day trip out of town to see some more of the country. We considered the Chateaux’s of the Loire Valley, but once I realized that was were Fontevraud Abbey was located (I am intrigued by Eleanor of Aquitaine), I’m thinking that needs to be its own trip. One of the children has asked if we are visiting the Palace of Versailles since they have learned about that in history class.
If you have visited the Palace, do you think this makes a nice day trip out of Paris?
I am also working on my Scotland trip with my mother. We are considering moving it up to the end of May. It just works better for me if my kids are still in school. The tentative plan is to fly into Edinburgh and then we have 6 1/2 days before flying out.
The dilemma is that we want to see it all….and cannot.
We want to make our way to the Isle of Skye, which is a huge time allocation. We also will not be driving a car. I’m not prepared this early into my international traveling to drive on the opposite side of the road on skinny, winding roads.
Besides our time in Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye (probably staying nearby as I think all the hotels there are already booked), I think we really would like to add in Stirling and Glen Coe and whatever else we can squeeze in (Doune Castle… I’m a Game of Thrones fan). If I had all the time in the world, I would want to see Old Castle Lachlan since we know that we have McLachlan ancestors. And of course, all the other beautiful castles. We will be traveling to Airdrie, hoping to get a glimpse of some of the areas that our family lived. We think we are pretty confident of the church where Agnes McLachlan and James Scott (my great-great grandparents) were married. We will also checking out the surrounding area of Glasgow where other family lived. A few of the other surnames that we are working on are: Scott, Baird, Munn, and Johnston. Of course most of those surnames have areas that they originate from as well. In all likelihood, we will need to plan more than 1 visit. 🙂
Until we have a general plan around our itinerary, we can’t book the hotel rooms. So I am seeking your input.
What would be on your absolutely “must see and do” list if you were in Scotland? And relying on public transport and taxis!
Thank you all so much ahead of time for any comments you have to offer!
Any tips on travel, avoiding jet lag, packing, and amazing places to eat (we are foodies)… add those too!
Let your light shine!